Background: Antibodies against gastrointestinal antigens may indicate altered microbiota and immune responses in the gut. Recent experimental data suggest a connection between gastrointestinal immune responses and CNS autoimmunity.
Methods: Antibodies against gliadin, tissue transglutaminase (tTG), intrinsic factor (IF), parietal cells (PC) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ASCA) were screened in the sera of 45 patients with AQP4-seropositive neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and NMO spectrum diseases (NMO/NMO-SD), 17 patients with AQP4-seronegative NMO, 85 patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS), and 48 healthy controls (HC).
Results: Thirty-seven percentages of patients with AQP4-seropositive NMO/NMO-SD and 28% of patients with MS had at least one particular antibody in contrast to 8% of HC (P < 0.01, respectively). Antibodies were most common (46%) in AQP4-seropositive myelitis (P = 0.01 versus HS, P = 0.05 versus MS). Anti-gliadin and ASCA were more frequent in the AQP4-seropositive NMO-spectrum compared to controls (P = 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively).
Conclusion: Antibody responses against gastrointestinal antigens are common in MS and AQP4-seropositive NMO/NMO-SD, especially in longitudinally extensive myelitis.
Keywords: anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae; aquaporin 4; gliadin; intrinsic factor; multiple sclerosis; myelitis; neuromyelitis optica; optic neuritis; parietal cell; transglutaminase.
© 2013 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2013 EFNS.